Fort Worth, TX Alumnae Chapter Feature

Throughout the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic challenged ZTA's alumnae chapters to recruit and engage members in new ways.

The Fort Worth, TX Chapter was a top chapter in Area II with a high increase in dues-paying members, growing its membership from 140 members last year to 175 members this year.

VP II/Membership Laurie Topham and VP Finance Paige Bacon of the Fort Worth, TX Chapter combined their strategies to recruit members and keep them engaged and excited after joining their chapter.

Based on a potential member list provided by International Office each fiscal year, Laurie takes the old-school method and sorts through the names and contact information, then she reaches out to those who are not already connected with the chapter.

Sometimes, the snail mail approach worked, other times Laurie would see people she recognized in the area and spark conversation. She carried around printed dues forms in her car and her purse to have on the ready whenever she needed them to hand out.

While Laurie was working on more traditional forms of outreach, Paige was sending out monthly email newsletters that also provided information on how to officially join the chapter and pay dues. Paige emphasizes that there are multiple ways for members to pay to make it convenient for them.

“The mail-outs combined with Paige’s newsletters was the key,” Laurie said.

At the bottom of the email newsletters, Paige would include a list of the members who paid their dues, which sparked more involvement. Showing recognition of those who have paid their dues is an effective way for the chapter to engage its members through gratitude.

In their recruitment efforts, however, the chapter recognizes that individual alumnae also have a responsibility in their own alumnae engagement journey.

“Force yourself out of your comfort zone,” was the advice Paige gave to Zetas looking to join a chapter. “It really pays off because some of the people I’ve met through ZTA became my close friends.”

When searching for an alumnae chapter to join, Paige recommends going online and searching for the contact person for your specific chapter.

“The best way to get in touch with a chapter is online whether that’s Facebook or Instagram,” Paige said. “One of us will respond within 24 hours.”

And Laurie gave the gentle reminder that sometimes it takes going to more than one chapter event to start building connections or meeting new friends, so to keep going and putting in the effort.

When Laurie joined her chapter, she was worried about the age gap between members and how she would get along with the other Zeta sisters; she soon realized that didn’t matter.

“They’re your Zeta sisters no matter how old you are and you realize that you have ZTA in common and it’s just a bond that you can’t really explain, and it grows over the years,” Laurie said.

One of Laurie’s favorite ZTA memories was carpooling and staying together for Texas Zeta Day.

“Everyone still talks about those times,” Laurie said. “We would just go for the weekend, meet people from all over and it was a lot of fun.”

After more than 20 years in the Fort Worth Chapter, Paige continues to be a leader in her chapter after her term as President. “The more involved I got, the more I got out of it which encouraged me to consider a leadership position in the first place,” Paige said.

Our big takeaways:

  1. Zeta IS Forever.

  2. You get out of Zeta what you put into it.

Interested in joining the Fort Worth, TX Chapter? Visit its Facebook Page here.

To find other local ZTA alumnae chapters near you, visit the Chapter Locator. Your sisters are waiting for you!


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